June 7, 2024

USA complete World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024 line-up

The line-up for the World Rugby U20 Trophy is now complete after the USA beat Canada for the second time in a week to qualify as North America's representatives.

The USA won the first leg 33-18 last Saturday before securing their place in Pool B at the tournament in Scotland with a 41-21 victory in the second leg at Starlight Stadium on Thursday.

Canada threw away an 18-7 lead after 50 minutes of the first encounter but they struggled from the off in the rematch, falling 17-0 behind after USA scored tries through Holden Hahn and Rand Santos following Ben Saunders' earlier penalty.

As they did at Shawnigan Lake School in the first meeting, Canada were dominating the set-piece and their first points came from a penalty try after USA illegally collapsed a maul.

Back-row Logan Ballinger was sent to the sin-bin as a result but Canada struggled to make their advantage count and it was the USA who scored the next points when Thomas Wagner sniped over.

For a while, USA were down to 13 men as Asbjorn Ross joined Ballinger in the sin-bin and an eventful first half was brought to a close when Canada were awarded their second penalty try.

Canada turned around 24-14 in arrears and needing something special if they were to qualify given the 25-point difference between the teams on aggregate.

Matt Bennett's speculative cross-kick that Spencer Cotie plucked from the air to score threatened to be the catalyst for a comeback as the conversion made it a three-point game on the day.

But Canada failed to score any further points and instead USA signed off with further tries from Jordan Vassel and Cade Crist, with Ollie Cline kicking the subsequent conversions as well as a penalty.

USA begin their U20 Trophy campaign at the Hive Stadium in Edinburgh, on 2 July, with a game against tournament debutants the Netherlands.

Last year's beaten finalists Uruguay are their next opponents on 7 July before they take on Kenya on match-day three, on 12 July.

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USA will be competing in their seventh U20 Trophy, having finished seventh at last year's tournament in Kenya – their first appearance since 2016.

They won the U20 Trophy when they hosted the event in 2012. Since then, their best finish was when they came third in 2014.

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